Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The Queen of Denial

"What was your greatest accomplishment in the past year?" This was one of the questions in Brenda's blog today. As I sat there reflecting back over the past year I couldn't think of a single thing that I had accomplished that I would consider 'great'.
Last year I made myself a New Years resolution that this would be the year that I would get both of my adult children (one is 20 the other 24) out of the house, living own their own. For the first 3 months of 2003 that actually happened. Robby went to Oklahoma to work and Kasey and Clint (her signifcant other) had a place of their own. My success while short lived, was greatly enjoyed. When Robert took his monthly trips to Eufaula, I found my self delightfully alone. LOTS of happy underpant time was indulged in. The peace and quiet was amazing. My grocery bill was almost non-existant. Ahh those were the days. It all came to an end when in April Robby returned home. Oklahoma it seems was not his calling. Personally I think he just missed his Mama. Whatever the reason, he was back. Within a month Kasey was standing at my door, with all her worldly possessions. For reasons I won't go into here, she was in need of a port in the storm. Her little ship of horrors was docked at the old home port. Since then there have been sporadic periods where she stayed three or four weeks with other people but this has been her primary residence. Once again I have two young, healthy adults living in my house. Doing pretty much what they damned well please. No one pays rent, or contributes toward living expenses. Let the free ride begin. Now this wouldn't be so bad, if my house and yard were kept spotlessly clean, laundry done, and meals prepared by the aforementioned individuals. Yeah, right, dream on. Clearly the only fool here is ME. I have come to the conclusion that the only way Robert and I are ever going to become a middle-aged couple living by ourselves, is if WE run away from home.
So, once again this year I am faced with the same problem I had last year. I am at a loss as to what the solution is. I KNOW what I should do. Doing it is another thing entirely. I cannot turn these two away when they have no where else to go. Realistically, Robby would have no problem finding his own place. He has many friends who would be glad to share an apartment or house with him if he so desired. I will admit that I have not really 'pushed' him to leave. He is easy to live with. He works at night and sleeps during the day. He did this past week agree that until he leaves he will be paying 'rent'. That is a step forward. Kasey is another story all together. Living with her is a borderline nightmare. Even when she is in a good mood, one has to walk around her on tiptoes. On her bad days, it's best to just crawl in a hole and pull the hole in behind you. Yet, what does a Mother do when her child has nowhere else to go? Am I the master enabler or what?
I'm not asking for sympathy. I am just wondering what can I possibly do different, this year?

Sunday, December 28, 2003

New Years Resolutions

Jen over at All About Jen has this great list in her entry for yesterday. I recogize many of my own special little quirks on this list, so I decided to share them with you. Those with one star are the ones that I shamelessly stole from Jen . The one's with two stars are the ones I am going to work on changing as part of my New Years Resolutions.
I loathe cooking, therefore any time I am forced to assemble a meal it will be done as loudly, profanely, and grudgingly as possible.*
I equally hate cleaning. I will do everything in my power to guilt you into doing as much of it as I can.
I hate carrying anything heavier than my purse. If I have something in my hands, I will attempt trick you into carrying it for me.*
I am not a good listener, although I might appear to be. Sure, I may be nodding and saying, “Mmm hmm” but really I am trying to think of a way to steer the conversation back to being about me.*
I complain. A lot. Be particularly cautious of me if I am hungry, hot, or tired. God have mercy on your soul if I am all three.*
I am not a moody person, except for certian times of the month. When I am, you'd be wise to steer clear. I can be lethal.
Some of my friends are cuter and thinner than I am. You are not allowed to notice this.*
I change my mind all the time and for no good reason.*
I believe in pouting to get my way.* Temper tantrums have been known to be employed as well.
There will be occasions when you breathe too loud for my liking. Ditto on chewing.*
I will hate your music.* Especially if we are in the car together.
I detest being late. I will be ready and waiting to go at least 30 minutes before you are. So get off your arse and get ready NOW.
I am a shameless comments whore. If you visit my blog and don't leave a comment, I am liable to hunt you down and squeeze one out of you.

While over at Leslie's I used the link she left for Mary Lou explaining the meaning and origin of Boxing Day . I have often heard people talk about Boxing Day but never really knew what it meant or when it was. Now I know. I also know the meaning/origin of Kwanzaa . I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I had not heard of Kwanzaa until recently. I had no idea of the meaning nor when it was celebrated. Now I know. If you want to know more about it just click on the link above. Now, a question. While visiting another blog, I came across one where the person was wishing every one "Happy NODWISH". Anybody have any idea what "NODWISH" is?
I think that this Christmas season will best be remembered by me as the year when I learned a good many things I did not know about the Christmas season. I certainly understand better now why people often say " Happy Holidays" instead of the traditional " Merry Christmas ". Because there is so much more to this time of year than just the Christian holiday of Christmas. Thanks Leslie AND Mary Lou !
I will also remember this year as the year I re-discovered the Christmas spirit. I learned that people you've never met, from hundreds of miles away can give you hope, strenght and renew your faith in mankind. For this I want to thank all of you... Brenda, Leslie (s), Kat, Mary Lou, Phyllis, Michelle, Jen, Kim, TW, Becky, Jaye, Retro Girl, Otto, CJ, and all the others who have visited me. Thank you for your comments, your encourgement, your advice , your generousity in spirit and for being some of the greatest people a slightly ding-batty middle-aged girl ever had the pleasure of knowing. May God bless all of you in the upcoming year.

David, you KNOW how I feel about you, my Knight in Shinning Armor!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

When do you take your Christmas decorations down? "If" I put any up, I don't take them down until after New Years. I don't know if it's an 'old wives tale' or what, but my Mother, Grandmother, and all my Aunts always said, it's bad luck to take down any decoration until after New Years Day. It could well be they were all just too tired from the holidays to even think about doing it until then. Whatever the reason, that's when mine will come down. Even those few I have on this page. So ya'll will have to endure them for a few more days. So, when do YOU take yours down?

Friday, December 26, 2003

Good Morning!!!
Good Morning everyone.
Well, Christmas is over for another year.
The gifts are unwrapped, the food's been eaten, put away, warmed up and eaten some more. We've all gained a good 5 lbs. We're tired and ready for a break before gearing up for New Years.
Christmas at chez moi was simple but nice. I got to see my grandaughter, Hailey, whom I haven't seen in months, she is such a little doll. With the sweetest smile. Of course Trent and Zach were here as well. I got to spend some time with Josh. I still worry about him working too much. But what can a Mother do.
I hope all of you had a wonderful day and are now ready to get back to the more serious business of blogging.
I will be anxiously awaiting details of your day!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Happy Birthday Jesus

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory to God in the Highest
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

May God bless each and every one of you my special friends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

This little wreath is making its way around the blogosphere. I've taken it from
Mary Lou's place; she took it from Leslie's . place; who got it from Leigh . So, go ahead and help yourself and let's see where it goes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

For You My Blogfriends...

I don't know what I did to deserve friends
as wonderful as you, but I'd like to thank
every wishing star that shines...
for the way you light up my life, inspire my
hopes, and give me so many smiles.
I wish you weren't miles and miles away,
but you should know that you'll be here
in my heart for the holidays... and all
through the coming year.
May God bless and keep you safe, warm and happy.
May this Christmas be your best ever.
May your hope be renewed, your faith strong
May you be surrounded with love.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2003

Political Parties
I think it's time for me to come clean. To stand up and be counted. Wanna know why?
Go here....

See ya'll on the flip side.

Here we go atinkering
I tried tinkering around with my template. I don't know if made any signifcant changes or not. The words were never overlapping on my screen. If this didn't fix it, then I am at a loss as to what else I can do. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

I wanted to let everyone know that I got an email from David and he said that 'if' Upsaid is not back up by this coming weekend that he will start working on moving over to blogger. I know he will appreciate any help anyone wants to give him. We will all just have to make do without him until then. ;-(

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Here in Podunt
Life here in Podunt is pretty much same ole same ole. Zach arrived last night and will be here through Christmas Eve. Then he will be back late Christmas night to stay for a few weeks. Ya'll say a prayer for me. That boy is a handfull all by himself, but if you add Robert (Dad), Kasey, Robby and Robby's friend Josh who is staying with us for awhile, into the mix, there could be havoic amoungst us. Kasey and Robby both have colds (no flu yet thank GOD). Oh and Trent will be here in an hour or so.
Excuse me, I need to go find some valium. Lots of valium.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Oh yeah this is much better. I kind of like this background. Since it looks like I am going to have to switch back to blogger, I think I'll go ahead and change the name of my blog as well. What do YOU think? "Just Breathe" is the name of the template, so maybe I'll let that be the name of my blog.
I've tried to get everyone's link added, but I may have missed one or two. If I missed you, just leave me a comment ( I love comments) and I'll get you added asap.
Ya'll help me out here and pass the word around that I am here at blogspot. Tell the world, and don't forget to comment, because we all know how I love comments. Almost as much as I love my friends.

A few people are telling me that my words are overlapping on the right side. I don't see this on my computer. Try refreshing your screen. I decreased the font size but if I make it any smaller most of us will have a hard time reading the words. You might also try clicking on view , then change the text size. Mine is on medium and everything seems to fit. Let me know if that doesn't help.

Well folks this is the best I can do for now. You all will just have to bear with me until I get a decent template to use here or until Upsaid gets their stuff together. At least now I have comments. And we all KNOW what a comments whore I am, so comment away!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Well, here I am again. Damn Upsaid is really pissing me off. This is the third night in a row that I have been unable to access my journal. GRRRRRRR
I am going to send them a nasty letter. RIGHT NOW!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Well here I am. Upsaid is acting all pissy tonight so I have to use my backup blogspot in order to spew forth my gibberish. Not that I have anything of any great value or importance to say. But that never stopped me before, so why let it now.
Tonight (Thursday) is my favorite night on tv. Especially now that Survivor is over and I don't have to switch back and forth between that and Friends. I don't know what I'll do when my Friends are gone. :-(
So anyway, it's late and I am tired. It's off to bed for this chick. See ya'll in the morning.

If you've got anything to say (like hey baby I miss you) you'll have to send and email. At least until Upsaid is back up and working.
Luff ya'll

Saturday, December 13, 2003

O Christmas Tree

My son Joshua's first Christmas he was a mere babe of one month. So it didn't really qualify as HIS first Christmas. The next year he was ready. Engines running wide open.
Josh exhibited a love of climbing at an early age. I think he made his way out of his crib for the first time at about 7 months. His talents were not reserved for only climbing OUT of things but into, on top of , under , around, and over were all equally persued. By the time we put up the Christmas tree he was well skilled at his trade. We should have known a 6 foot tree in the middle of the room was going to be more than his little mind and body could resist. Especially if said tree is lit up with multi colored lights, dozens of enticing trinkets and presents packed underneath. The poor babe was intoxicated with glee at his first sight of this phenomenom in his very own living room. With much supervision we managed to keep him away from it that first night. Filled with a false sense of accomplishment and foolish self assurance we drug our tired bodies off to bed. Worn to a frazzel from the battle we had endured we slept soundly. Blissfully ignorant of the impending disaster awaiting us the following morn. Sometime around 6 am, we were awakened by Daniel (then 4) with cries of "Mommy, Daddy, you'd better come right now, Josh is IN THE TREE"!!! Did you know that one CAN stump one's toe on the bed footpost and continue to dash from the room? One can, trust me on this. There in our living room, much to our horror and his delight , Josh awaited us. 3/4's of the way UP the Christmas tree. Everything happend in slow motion after that. We both ran toward the tree, as it began it's slow bending topple to the floor. When the tree met the floor there was the crash of bulbs, the splatter of the aforementions trinkets and the delighted giggle of Joshua. He thought this was the best ride ever.
Lesson learned? Never leave 6 foot tree unattended with budding mountain climbing child in residence. NEVER.
Lesson not learned. You will see.
After inspecting Josh for damage (there was none). We righted the tree and cleaned up the broken bulbs. It was decided coffee (an lots of it) and breakfast were in order before attemting to redecorate. Later before redocrating the tree we contemplated what to do to keep the the tree safe from Josh and thereby keeping Josh safe from Josh's climbing. It was decided we'd put the tree in the play pen. We were so proud of ourselves. We have found a relatively simple and easy soloution to the problem. I am sure somewhere the God's were laughing and calling us FOOLS. Fools I tell you. Fools indeed.
We went out bought more pretty shiney bulbs, re-decorated the tree and it looked even more lovely than before if I do say so myself. It's beauty hardly detracted by the giant mesh playpen in which it sat. Again that night we retired filled with that foolish sense of security.
Just imagine an instant replay of the previous morning, minus the toe stumping. There in the living room, Josh greeted us with his sweet smile, this time only half way up the tree. Part of his climbing time had been used in BENDING the metal bar holding up the mesh that was suppose to have protected the tree. Ah haaaa no barrier for the strong willed little man in the fuzzy red sleeper. Again we watched with much trepidation as the tree made it's way to the floor, again amidst the giggles of glee from Joshua.

Daniel looked up at me with a seriousness one would not expect in a 4 year old and said " We're not going to be able to keep him out of that tree are we"? (THIS is the lesson not learned) I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I just sat down in the floor with them and did both. Breakfast was had that morning amongst the Christmas tree disaster.
At this point it was decided we might need the advice of our parents. After all between the two of us, Robert and I have 8 siblings, surely one of them had been a climber. So we headed out as the song says 'over the river and through the woods' to Grandmother's (and Grandfather's) house. Everyone had suggestions. The one we thought might actually work was the fishing line theory.
Back at home that night , we once again sat about re-decorating the tree. This time there were no more pretty bulbs. I figured you can only temp fate so many times and that if this didn't work, Joshua could actually be hurt by the broken bulbs. I put only the trinkets that I would not mind losing should I lose yet another battle for THE CHRISTMAS TREE . Before decorating commenced we wrapped 50lb fishing line around the base of the tree. In two places, one near the bottom and one near the top. We didn't bother with the playpen since one side had been permanently damaged by our little mountain climber. And so a sparsly decorated tree was once again raised. Not so confident, but tired all the same, off to bed we went.

Two notes to self here--
#1. Listen to four year olds, sometimes they have a better grasp of reality than you do.
#2. Even 50 lb fishing line will NOT hold up to a 30lb child if you do not secure it to something besides plaster walls and with something sturdier than 10penny nails.

To make an already long story short, the next morning the Christmas tree was promptly placed on the front lawn. Lights were added later. It was decided that there would be no inside tree that year. Turns out, Daniel knew what he was talking about.


Thursday, December 11, 2003

Bah humbug

I can tell you exactly when I began to hate this holiday. It wasn't like you'd think. It wasn't because my kids were small and I had nothing to give them for Christmas. That happened, but, some really wonderful people stepped in and provided gifts for the kids and food for us all. It wasn't so bad. It wasn't because someone I loved dearly died and I just couldn't face the holidays without them. That hasn't happened to me and I pray it never does. I don't know how "I'd" deal with that one. I think there are some things you just never get over. Or past.

It began the year I lost my job, then my husband lost his job. All within 6 months. That first Christmas wasn't so bad. We did have unemployment, and my 16 year old son worked at Burger King. Between the three of us we managed to scrape together a half-way decent Christmas. But, that wasn't the worst. That was yet to come.

In March of the following year Robert (my husband) had a stroke. The trip to the hospital and the following days were pretty scary. By the time he came home, he'd gone from a seemingly healthy, slightly middle-aged man of 47 to an old man. He could walk but he needed help. He could talk but it was garbbled and you had to work with him to understand what he was saying. He aged 20 years in those few days. He was alive but the life was gone out of him. His physical health was bad but his mental health was in serious trouble. I can only imagine what it must have been like for him. It broke my heart all over to see him so lost and afraid.

Because of the stroke he obviously was no longer able to look for work much less able to actually hold down a job. So, we lost his unemployment. Then in a matter of a few weeks mine too ran out. All we had to live on was what Robby brought home. We got behind in our rent, we lost our telephone, cable went next. Then one morning we got up and our car was gone. We were 3 payments away from having it paid off. In the dead of night the 're-po man' came an stole that car right out of our front drive. Yeah, those guys you see on T.V. having so much fun. It's only fun if it's not YOUR car they take. I can only imagine how Robert felt. As for me, I just checked out. I began to sleep. I would sleep for days at a time. At one point I lost an entire weekend. I didn't eat, I didn't bathe, I didn't care. I didn't want to care. I just wanted to go away to that place where nothing mattered. I wanted to be alone. It was a dark dark time in our world.

Robby and Kasey held it all together . Robby went to school, worked and did what he could. Kasey would come every few days. She'd go to the grocery store, cook and clean. The two of them pulled together and kept things going. If you ever wonder why I tolerate the things I do with them, remember this.

Eventually I found my way back. But, our life has never been the same. That is when the 'holidays' became a nightmare. There just was no money for Christmas presents. I felt like such a failure. I know Robert felt the same. We had gotten Roberts disability started, but let me tell you its not what people make it out to be. It's bearly enough to survive, there is nothing left for extras. If I went to work, they'd dock his pension (based on my PRE-taxes income). Still we've managed to slowly work our way back to some sembalance of a decent life. We pay our bills, we live in a decent neighborhood in a decent house. We have good food, nice enough clothes, and even a few extras now and then.

Of course it never fails that come late fall-early winter some new seasonal disaster strikes. This year it's Patches (our car). She's gone. She passed away a few weeks ago. I called her patches because even her repairs had repairs.. She was a good ole girl. We put many a mile on her. She served her masters well. But her work her is over. She's gone to the great junkyard in the sky. We'll survive. We do have a way to get around thanks to a young friend of Robby's. But that means no extra money again this year for Christmas. We have to save what we can for a down payment. And so it goes.
I do have much to be thankful for. Roberts health is better. He is much more optimistic than in past few years. My children and grandchildren are all healthy. My grandchildren will not want for Christmas. Their parents and the 'other' grandparents will see to it that they have all they need and most of what they want. My daughter-in-laws parents are wonderful. They are very generous with Hailey and Trent. I thank God for them. Zach's Mom will work overtime and two jobs to make sure he, his brother and sister have a good Christmas. Her Mother works and gives generously as well. So the children won't miss out on a thing.

Still, I feel so , inadequate. "I" should be able to be generous. "I" should be able to give like the other grandparents do. Even though I don't know what I'd give, I still 'want' to be doing something, more. Then there's my children. Even though they are all grown now, I still want to be able to do more for them. There is so much I want to do. But there just isn't any money for big stuff. So I do what I can. Still that feeling is there lurking, haunting me. Whispering "you failed again".

But, this year, something is different. That old familiar feeling hasn't hit. It's not that there's any more money. So it must be, blogdom . Through blogdom I have discovered I am not alone. Lots of people feel the same. Lots of people face the same obstacles. Lots of people get the 'holiday blues'. I guess it's true what they say "misery loves company".

Thank you my friends.
Just maybe this year, I won't try to 'sleep' my way through Christmas.
God Bless you one and all!!!


An Audience of One
A Touch Of Heaven
Always Victoria
Bacon and Eh's
Causin a Kimmotion!
Chocolate Starfish
Critter Chick
Defiance Dolls
Emptying My Head
Joe Cool
Life After Nexcom
Life on Whidbey
Lumbering Soul
Mind Diversion
My Insanity
Out in the Open
Southern Secrets
Split Splat (KB)
Talk With Desiree
Txoceanlover's Laments
What's Up Down South
Wind Spirit
Star Wars Fan Films